Marine debris is a major problem for marine ecosystems and the vibrant communities that depend on them. Six million tonnes of fishing gear is lost in the oceans each year, but old fishing gear isn’t even in the top ten most common items found during coastal clean-ups. Three-quarters of marine debris collected is plastic. When plastics enter the ocean, they become increasingly toxic and when plastic is ingested, these concentrated toxins can be delivered to animals and transferred up their food chains. But it’s not all bad news, the D’Entrecasteaux and Huon Collaboration is bringing people together to make a difference.
The D’Entrecasteaux Channel and Huon 2017 Report Card focuses on swimming and seafood safety, coastal and marine habitats, and climate, water quality and sediment health, nutrient inputs and sediments to better document changes in catchment conditions, so we can safely enjoy this incredible asset on our back doorstep.
Wetlands are areas you might walk through every day but don’t ever really see. Next time you are walking your dog along the waters edge or find yourself at a river mouth have a look for marshes or swamps, large grasslands or succulent lawns. To the untrained eye this habitat can seem like a wasteland and has been treated as such. Coastal wetlands, however, are diverse and valuable to humans for the ecological services they provide and also to the incredible wildlife they support. Waterbirds, fish, amphibians, reptiles rely on them for refuge, roost, nest and feeding habitat. Aquatic plant species form a corridor for migration of birds and marine mammals.
The D’Entrecasteaux and Huon waterways are shared-use waterways that host more Tasmanian recreational fishers and boaters than any other in Tasmania, and with thriving commercial operators and growing residential development it is critical that the area’s natural values are managed effectively.
In December 2015, an innovative partnership agreement was signed between industry, government and natural resource managers. The partnership provides a framework for collaboration to support and enhance natural diversity and improve the condition of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and Huon Estuary. Today, DHC partners convened at Tinderbox to renew their commitment to this ongoing partnership to 2020. Continue reading “Collaborating for our waterways”
The beaches and waterways of beautiful Bruny Island are notably cleaner thanks to the efforts of the 124 volunteers who joined a marine debris clean up event on 18 August, removing over 10 cubic metres of debris. Organised by the D’Entrecasteaux and Huon Collaboration (DHC), these annual clean-ups have removed over 55 cubic metres of marine debris from southern Tasmania’s waters since 2016.
This year’s marine debris clean up at Charlottes Cove in the Huon Valley brought together over 50 volunteers from the community who braved the cold and windy conditions to help remove over 5m3 of trash from our southern beaches.
Members of community groups and organisations such as Friends of Randall’s Bay Coastcare Group, Conservation Volunteers Australia, Kingborough Coastcare, Birdlife Tasmania, the Huon Valley Roamers Landcare Group, Parks and Wildlife Service, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, and Bruny Island Boat Club clambered over rocks and logs to fill dozens of bags with an assortment of rubbish. After collection, every piece of twine, bottle cap or cigarette butt was meticulously sorted to give us a better idea of what’s out there – and where it’s coming from.
Over the month of May, the Huon and Channel communities came together to clean up beaches and foreshore areas in their regions.Clean-up sites included Dover, Alonnah to Simpsons Point on Bruny Island, Garden Island, and Randalls Bay to Nine Pin Point in the Huon Estuary.
More than 36 m3 of marine debris was collected over the course of this “Marine Debris Month”, and over 150 people were involved in a series of clean-up events. This included staff from Huon Aquaculture, Tassal Tasmanian Salmon, TasWater and NRM South, school students from Sacred Heart Primary School, Glen Huon Primary School and support from the Bookend Trust’s Coast Watchers program, volunteers from Conservation Volunteers Australia, Bruny Island Boat Club, Port Cygnet Landcare and Watercare Group, Friends of Randalls Bay Coastcare Group and the Huon Valley Roamers Landcare Group.
The D’Entrecasteaux and Huon Collaboration’s Mini-Conference was held on Tuesday the 30th of August and was a great success – in fact there was nothing ‘mini’ about the conference after all! A full house of attendees came to listen to talks on waterway condition, biodiversity and marine protection, seaweeds, gulls, marine mammals and coastal hazards. Have a listen to this snippet from ABC Radio’s Drive program with Louise Saunders here.
Fifty-six volunteers undertook a major coastal clean-up at Alonnah on Bruny Island on Saturday the 2nd of April, 2016.
Local residents from Bruny and the Channel areas, Sustainable Living in Kingborough, Conservation Volunteers Australia and the Bruny Island Boat Club joined forces with staff from NRM South, Huon Valley Council, Tassal, and TasWater – with the aim to make a real difference to our waterway by removing waste from the Bruny Island coastline between Alonnah and Simpson Bay. Continue reading “Collaborating to clean up the channel”
The first ever report card on one of Tasmania’s most loved and used waterways, the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and Huon Estuary waterway, will be released on 2nd March 2016. This report card will focus on water quality and sediment health, pollution types and sources, swimming and seafood safety, coastal and marine habitats, and climate.
The Report Card has been prepared by the D’Entrecasteaux and Huon Collaboration in the interest of maintaining the diversity and improving the condition of the waterway. Continue reading “The first report card for the D’Entrecasteaux and Huon”